The United States has some of the best literature that has ever been written. American literature is very well refined and unique from other countries. In the writing world, American literature has not even been around that long. The past 337 years that America has been a country is relatively short compared to the thousands of years that literature has existed. The many great American writers are what make American literature able to overcome its short lifespan and be one of the greatest countries for literature in the world. From Washington Irving to Mark Twain, American authors are responsible for American literature’s current amazing state. One certain author played an especially important role in shaping a specific genre in American literature. Bret Harte is the man responsible for making the Western genre of literature popular. His stories are captivating. Bret Harte was able to contribute to the rise of American literature by shaping the Western genre so that other authors may adapt to his new style of writing, and by writing some of the most memorable stories of all time, such as “The Outcasts of Poker Flat.”
Bret Harte was born in Albany, New York, on August 25, 1836. He was raised as one of his family’s four children. Harte was very ill from ages six to ten, which gave him free time for reading (Franks 829). This time for reading had a great influence on Harte, giving him blocks for him to build on in his writing career. He was especially affected by the writings of British author Charles Dickens (Franks 829). His family was so poor, that they were unable to afford for him to finish school (Franks 829). When his father died in 1845, Harte and his family moved to Brooklyn. When his mother became engaged again, he and his family moved to Oakland, where his mother was married. His family was still very poor though. These times of hardship were also very influential on his writing. He was able to understand difficult struggles, thus making...
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